Bromantic five-time Olympic skiing medalist Bode Miller in an interview with the Associated Press yesterday didn’t hold back any punches when asked about Russia’s anti-gay laws.
“‘I think it’s absolutely embarrassing that there’s countries and there’s people who are that intolerant and that ignorant,” he said Monday, one of the few athletes willing to take a stand on the subject at the U.S. Olympic media summit featuring Sochi hopefuls. ‘But it’s not the first time,” Miller said. “We’ve been dealing with human-rights issues probably since there were humans.” At 35 and with five Olympic medals to his credit, Miller is trying for his fifth Winter Games. He has, over the years, built a reputation as an unconventional firebrand, unafraid to state his opinion on sports, skiing or society in general. He said the Russian law puts athletes in an awkward position. “I think it’s unfortunate when they get stuffed together because there are politics in sports and athletics,” Miller said. “They always are intertwined, even though people try to keep them separate or try to act like they’re separate. Asking an athlete to go somewhere and compete and be a representative of a philosophy and … then tell them they can’t express their views or they can’t say what they believe, I think is pretty hypocritical or unfair.”
Miller like many athletes have stepped forward to speak out against the Russian law, but stop short of calling for an Olympic boycott or action which “I think is pretty hypocritical or unfair.”